You know when you keep seeing a new product pop up on social media and it piques your interest; that’s what kept happening with the Tonie Box, so I was delighted to be asked to try out Tonie Box, Tonies and Creative Tonies.
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What Can It Do?
The Tonie Box plays audio files that are downloaded onto the box from Tonie characters. Tonie characters consist of stories (traditional tales and popular authors such as Julia Donaldson – creator of the Gruffalo), music and fact based talking information. There are special Tonies called creative Tonies that you can upload up to 90 minutes of your own audio files onto. You initially need a WiFi connection, but after that you are able to access the files without WiFi using your characters (Tonies) that you place onto the Tonie Box.
It’s simple. Turn the Tonie Box on by holding the big ear for 3 seconds and then place your Tonie character on the box to start the audio. Take the Tonie character off and play stops. For our daughter Floss this is perfect as she’s a toddler who loves to be independent. This allows her to choose what she wants to listen to, when she wants to.
Tonie Starter Box
The starter set comes with a Tonie Box and a Creative Tonie, in a colour to match your box. There are several different colours to choose from. The box itself is super soft and squishy with it’s padded exterior, perfect for little people. It’s also tough and durable and can withstand some serious play! A very clever design.
Where Can You Take Tonie?
The Tonie Box, once charged, has around 7 hours of battery life so you can take it on any adventures. The portability is great for little ones who want to take things with them as they play and often move from room to room! Here’s some of the places we’ve taken ours so far:
- Around the house – we’ve been popping it on the window sill in the bathroom and having music or audio books with baths.
- Outside in the garden – this has been brilliant, we’ve really enjoyed picnic snacks with the Tonie telling us a story.
- In the car – Floss, our daughter, loves that she can be in control of what we listen to and can change between stories and music.
- Over to family and friends – it’s been great entertainment when taking to show others – everyone loves the Tonie!
Floss has got to the age where she’s a little hit and miss with naps. Days where she doesn’t nap she’ll lie down on the sofa or play quietly while listening to a story or song on the Tonie Box.
I love the fact that you can change the maximum volume on the Tonie to 25%, 50%, 75% or 100%. We’ve got ours set to 50% and you can then adjust to make it quieter using the little ears on top. You squeeze the small ear to make it quieter and the larger to turn the volume up. Really easy for a child to use themselves.
These are the real magic for us. You get a Creative Tonie in your starter box pack. They are a blank Tonie that you can put your own recordings and downloads on to. Floss’s Daddy sometimes needs to travel abroad with work, so the idea that he can record stories and messages for her onto the Creative Tonie is wonderful. I think it would be lovely to have stories, songs and messages from friends and family to play whenever they would like. Such a great idea if you have family living a long way away or abroad who your child doesn’t get to see as much.
There’s a My Tonies APP that you download onto your phone and allows you to easily upload audio files and organise media on your creative Tonie.
There’s an ever increasing range of characters – here’s a link to what’s available so far. 14th August sees the launch of The Lion King and Jungle Book! They come in several different categories:
- Favourite Children’s Songs
- Classic Stories
- Favourite Classic Tales
- How and Why
- Julia Donaldson Collection
- Other Stories
There will be lots more additions to come too! Those lovelies working at Tonies have got big plans!
One of the big selling points for Tonie Box in our house is the safety aspect. We love the fact that we have ultimate control over what Floss is listening to. Maybe we read too many scare stories about YouTube, Amazon Alexa and other audio and video players, but we feel it’s so important to safeguard Floss in this ever increasing digital age.
We’ve been on the look out for a little Gruffalo for small world play as Floss is Gruffalo obsessed. The Gruffalo Tonie is the perfect little character for small world play. All of the characters get a lot of use in our house both on and off the box. A genius idea to give multipurpose use to children’s toys.
If you’d like more small world play ideas check out our blog posts here.
Would I Recommend the Tonie Box?
Oh YES it’s INCREDIBLE! Would I have purchased one, YES. We get so much use out of it every day. I love the simplicity, the ease of use for the whole family and the independence and choice it gives Floss. The design of the box is so carefully thought out for little hands, soft and robust, I don’t have any concerns that Floss will damage it or that she will hurt herself. As I’ve already mentioned the digital safety and control aspect is very much appealing to us as a family too. Floss has got an operation coming up soon and we’re going to take the it with us – there’s a space to plug in head phones. I think she’ll really enjoy having something familiar and will be purchasing Gruffalo’s Child and Stickman to add to our collection.